Competition and Regulation Update — ACCC’s draft authorisation guidelines

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On 6 May 2013, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released the updated draft authorisation guidelines. They aim to provide, in the words of ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker, an ‘updated guidance on the ACCC’s approach [to assessing applications for authorisation] based on its recent experience and relevant determinations by the Australian Competition Tribunal’.

The Draft Guidelines suggest that in making any future authorisation application, applicants should: where possible, identify, and specify how the proposed conduct would address, a market failure or market imperfection; identify the affected areas of competition, and consider defining the market(s), of relevance to the public benefits (as well as detriments) claimed to arise from the proposed conduct; where possible, identify, claimed public benefits that are economic benefits; and keep in mind that authorisation may be granted subject to conditions or may not be granted even when the statutory tests are satisfied.

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